Wall Street has come to Oregon's forests. Our research seeks to understand and challenge this new force.
Challenging Wall Street Forestry
Motivation: in late 2016 we began researching corporate forest ownership across Western Oregon to understand three things:
- The connection of forestland ownership to Wall Street investors and a forestry driven by finance.
- The connection of forestland owners to the so-called county funding crisis and attacks on the Northwest Forest Plan.
- The impact of financial forest management on ecological systems and human communities.
Now, as we pivot to address the climate crisis, future work will explore the need to grow carbon dense older forests. How can the conflict between financial forestry and carbon dense, big forests be resolved?
“Over 20 years of work on financial forestry must now be considered in light of the climate crisis. We know there is an inherent conflict between financial forestry and managing for large carbon dense forests.”
Our Work To Date
- Mapped forest ownership for every parcel of real property in Western Oregon.
- Interpreted official reports on forestland taxation and assessed local government funding.
- Revisited our prior Forest That Work analysis to assess lost timber production due to early cutting by financial forest management.
- Surveyed new science findings related to plantation forestry and its impact on rivers, streams and watersheds.
- Assessed research on forest management and climate change.
Our Main Research Findings
Wall Street connected firms in the form of REITs and TIMOs now dominate private forests.
Corporate forestland taxation for local government declined by 75% since the early 1990’s.
Our research has revealed hard truths about forest conditions and ownership in Oregon. Forests are one third of the solution to the climate crisis. Jane Goodall implores us: “Don’t let forests be the forgotten solution” to the climate crisis. We agree!
A Better World is Possible
A new forestry and rural economy is possible. One that contributes to solving the climate crisis. We are exploring how a Green New Deal will build carbon dense forests, provide new rural jobs and transform our rural economy. Putting people before profits is the foundation of our vision.